We are all perhaps aware of the recent proceedings in the court regarding criminalising marital rape. During this time, the hashtag #marriagestrike was trending on Twitter.

Speculations were rife that all those who oppose marital rape were behind the trend. But is marital rape only the bone of contention between the two groups? Is there any other active element, like heteropessimism, behind the trend?

As said by experts, heteropessimism is the public declaration of dissatisfaction that arises from heterosexual relationships. The marriage market is full of wanted brides and grooms. Every person chooses his or her partner with the allowance of their family members. Then why heteropessimism?

This is not a foreign trend, but it is observed in India as well. In a layman’s language, this situation arises when both partners are fed up of each other. But why, after so many checks and balances before the marriage, do such circumstances emerge?

As per my observation, the first break comes when the delicate balloon of love , romance, and understanding burst. The realisation that this feeling is short-lived makes the duo vulnerable. Another break comes with structural issues in a relationship. Or what we can call power dominance.

Gone are the days when women used to feel hopeless and helpless. But today, more women are joining the mainstream and battling the patriarchal nature of power and dominance. They want power, respect, and, what can be said, democracy in their families as well. When these things do not balance out because of many underlying reasons, the relationship starts to shatter.

The patriarchal culture of provider and protector is now breathing its last. Overexpectations and comparisons with other partners can also contribute to such marriage disasters. Like the typical Bollywood love story, with a Kartik Aaryan-like husband and Kaira Advani as the wife, and then all Karan Johar’s marriage movie scenes. These things never happen, at least not in a general situation.

We started with marital rape and now let’s continue with the same. After years, a sudden spell of romance, if stopped by a force called marital rape, can shake the world of the two people. The bone of contention in marital rape is consent. As said by Shashi Tharoor, “ Marital rape is not about sex, but about violence; it is not about marriage, but about lack of consent.”

Marriage is considered to be a God-given, unlimited right for both partners to have a sexual relationship. When this is challenged by the concept of marital rape, hashtags such as # marriagestrike become popular.